No pictures please

Since I use this blog as a bit of a personal journal, to remember dates and happenings, I should dutifully note that last night was the time four year old Theo pushed two year old Francis off the footstool while brushing teeth, causing said Francis to fall precipitously against the bathtub and open a nasty gash in his chin. Three hours and a Martin/Francis emergency room visit later there were four stitches in the poor guy’s chin. I’ll spare you all a description of the initial mess or the difficulty of holding down a screaming child while the doctor tries to put the stitches in. Everything is fine now. And no, no photos or Youtube videos of the proceedings. Maybe I’ll snap a picture of the stitches so Francis can see just where that scar came from!

An Autumnal Halloween

Butterfly Genus Theodorableus Butterfly Genus Francis Captured butterflies

The Batsto Village Halloween party wasn’t quite so much fun this year: their website didn’t mention that most activities ended part-way through the afternoon so that the organizers could sit in front of the old houses giving out candy. We arrived on the late side so no face painting or pony rides for the boys butterflies. We still had fun in the first really autumn day of the season and Batsto was looking more bucolic than ever. More pictures (including some of the cool gearing in the old Batsto gristmill) over on yesterday’s Flickr page.

Right: rare video footage of a Genus Franciscus Butterfly in migration.

Butterfly Love

Butterfly Love
The town parade was postponed by rain again last night but as the butterfly boys were all dressed up we ducked into our favorite pizza shop for some mozzarella sticks and a slice of bruchetta-topped tomato pie. We got out without inflicting any major structural damage or physical injury, though Theo was only a twist or two away from destroying one of their neon signs. Rumor has it that the parade will happen next Tuesday though if the weather cooperates we should have pictures of the Batsto Village halloween before that (last year’s pics).

(Still working on getting comments and Twitter to show up properly.)

Railroad & farm weekend in Lancaster

Our only full-group shot, outside Strasburg RR
This weekend we took off for a family trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania–Julie and me, the kids and my mother Liz. I won’t have time to do a long blog post, but highlights were the Verdant View farm B&B (link) where we stayed; the Strasburg Railroad (link) whose line runs through the farm’s backyard, the Choo Barn model railway (link); and the amazing Cherry Crest Farm (link) with its corn maze and its simple games for kids of all ages (who knew you could have so much fun with a hill and a piece of burlap?!).

See the See the photo set on Flickr for more pictures and stories. Every shot is mapped, with links.

Large photo: Family at Strasburg RR: Martin, Liz, Theo, Julie, Francis. Below: Julie and the kids walking through fields at farm, Francis playing kung-fu with the farm dog, Theo running in terror from said dog, Engine 90 ready to pull out.
Verdant View's verdant views
Verdant View Farm dogs
Verdant View Farm dogs

The ascent of Apple Pie Hill

Yesterday the kids and I took a road trip to Apple Pie Hill, a summit of loose gravel that towers over the South Jersey pinelands from a dizzying height of 209 feet above sea level. A fire watch tower on the summit adds another few dozen feet, enough to get a visitor over the treetops. On a clear day it’s said you can see the skylines of Atlantic City and Philadelphia. Fortunately for me it was an quintessentially beautifully fall day–clear and crisp. It was easy to spot the cities, both thirty-two miles away (mostly to the south and mostly to the west respectively) and here’s blowups of the two resultant photos:
Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill
Sand road to Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill
More pictures, from left: Sand road to the hill, the fire tower, the view down through the steps of the tower (the kids were left in the car), two year old Francis eager but thwarted attempt to repeat Papa’s climb up tower. Click individual photos for enlarged and geotagged versions. More photos of this and out stopover at Atsion later in the day on yesterday’s Flickr page.

For those interested in repeating our journey, here’s a map showing our route up and back. I was mostly winging it, depending on these directions from starting from nearby Chatsworth NJ, self-styled “Capital of the Pine Barrens.”

Other map views: View Larger Map | Satellite with Route Map

Yummy eats en route to Ohio

Yummy eats en route to Ohio
More back blogging from our Ohio trip, this photo from a vegan eatery a few miles off a rural Pennsylvania turnpike exit. Prices were steep and the homemade non-dairy ice cream servings small but we ate everything from our plates.

Photo: Vegan food & messy boy at Maggie’s Mercantile off exit 91 of the Penna Turnpike, an hour or so east of Pittsburgh. Enlarged photo.